June 6, 2012

"A Hot Tear" - New Kickstarter project: Benjy Fox-Rosen

Anyone who has heard Benjy in recent years know that this is not a new interest. I'm very excited that he is finally getting these pieces recorded. If you can help, let's make sure this one happens. [Ari]

Hello Jewish Music Community,

I am writing to let you know about a new composition that I will be recording at the end of June. It is a new song cycle composed from the poetry of Mordechai Gebirtig, which I am calling "A Hot Tear." I am using a platform called Kickstarter to tell people about the project and to garner support for it. Click on this link to go the page for the project where there is more information as well as a video.

Please help support the project by contributing and spreading the word about it. Thank you.

Benjy Fox-Rosen

May 12, 2012

Kugelplex fundraiser

From friends in San Francisco:

Kugelplex has received a grant from the East Bay Community Foundation to fund an epic collaboration with the renowned Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir!

The new work, composed by Dan Cantrell, will have its world premiere October 6 at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley and also be featured at OIGC's Annual Holiday Concert at the Paramount Theater in Oakland on December 1st.

There's just one little thing—we need to match the money pledged to us. This is the first time we've ever done an "ASK" on the Kugelplex list. I HATE asking for money, but this is a REALLY important opportunity for our ensemble and we need East Bay Community Foundation support to make it happen (55-member gospel choirs don't work cheap).

We have until May 25th to make the match. OIGC's community has already raised a chunk of it. Now the denizens of Kugelplex nation need to step up to the plate. Please help us make the match and, once we hit our goal, heap some more onto that pile if you're so inclined.

Check out this link for more info on the project and how to give give give:

You know the deal: $10... $20... $2000... it's all good and helps us reach our goal.


September 4, 2011

Kickstarter3 - bring The Other Europeans to WOMEX

If you aren't familiar with "The Other Europeans" project you have been missing one of the most exciting projects of recent years. They have a delightful CD out ("Almost Bootleg") and give one hell of an intense concert. It was one of the highlights of my life to help bring them to Boston last year and watch a thoroughly excited audience cram into Johnny D's. I'll let Alan Bern take it from here:

many of you already know about The Other Europeans ( It's a truly incredible, 14-piece band playing heartbreaking and virtuosic music that goes back to pre-WWII Bessarabia and a community of professional klezmer (Yiddish) and lautar (Gipsy/Roma) musicians who live and played together for more than a century - a rare, historical example of such close cooperation between these groups. The Other Europeans restores this almost lost heritage to the 21st century.

The project brings together some of today's greatest klezmer and lautar musicians from 8 different countries - Moldova, Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany, France, Great Britain, the Ukraine & the USA and combines historical and ethnographic research with the highest levels of musicianship. It was only possible to create with the help of funding from the European Union. But now that funding has run out. To continue to exist, we have to connect with agents and festivals and find ways to continue to tour and record. That's no small financial task for a 14-piece international ensemble.

Now we've been invited to play a showcase at the 2011 WOMEX in Copenhagen—by far the most important trade fair for world music. It's the best possible chance for us to attract just the kind of attention and support we need. But first we have to get there! We have to pay our own expenses for travel and accommodations, and we also need to launch our live double-CD at the showcase. To accomplish that, we really need your help.

Some of you are already familiar with Kickstarter. It's an internet site that lets artists raise funds for projects just like this. As a reward for their support, donors also get our music and many other interesting and unique benefits. I've set up a kickstarter campaign for The Other Europeans. If you are already a fan of The Other Europeans, or if this project sounds worthy of support to you, then I hope you'll visit the site below and contribute whatever you can—every little bit helps! Thanks to all of you in advance, and I hope that with your help we can launch The Other Europeans at the WOMEX and visit your area in the near future to play a concert. Here's the Kickstarter website:

Kickstarter2 - help the Klezmatics put out 25th Anniv tour/CD

This one is easy. After all, I already have the CD because I are the KlezmerShack. I first saw the band in the mid-90s, but the concert I remember, the one that blew my mind, was in 1996 in San Francisco at the Great American Music Hall. If you help them meet this goal, I'll tell you all about it (your preference--if you'd rather I shut up, I can do that too!). That concert helped kick off the KlezmerShack! What I will tell you now is that they started the concert with "Man in a hat," with almost as much energy as there is on the new CD. The repertoire has grown since then, and the CD features many alumni and friends. And you can take part. Here's their pitch:

To mark its silver anniversary, the band that helped bring klezmer into the 21st century is releasing Live at Town Hall, a sonic souvenir of a remarkable NYC concert. And to help promote this, the Klezmatics’ first self-produced live CD, the Grammy Award-winners are launching their very own Kickstarter campaign. Your generous donation will enable them to cover post-production costs and hire a radio promoter and media publicist to bring the recording not only to those who already love the Klezmatics and klezmer, but also to those who are entirely new to the music.

We are pleased to offer a full length track from the album for your listening pleasure on our website. Click here to listen to Lolly Lo. We'll be releasing another track next week so stay tuned.

April 4, 2011

Jake Shulman-Ment Romanian Klezmer Tour fundraiser

I avoid passing on requests for funds, but the people involved in this project are very special, and they've even gotten a token bit of my own non-existent funds.

Dear Friends,

Thanks to you and your wonderfully generous and supportive responses, we're well on our way to funding this concert tour of Romania! I just wanted to send out a little reminder in case there's anyone who is still planning to donate and/or help spread the word about the project. It's not too late!! Take a look on the Kickstarter link below for updates.

The fundraising drive ends on May 1, and, although the Kickstarter funding goal has been reached, we actually need quite a bit more to make it all happen.

Thanks again for everything, and I hope to see you soon,